After building up hype with singles like “Pep Rally” and “Mommons Iced Tea,” upcoming artist Rnb, The Rapper has released his first full-length project, SpitShine. Through 11 tracks, the young MC carves out a place for himself in the underground and showcases the set of skills that may make him a prominent face in hip hops future.
Things open up with the song “Andrew Jackson,” a defining piece that welcomes us to the world of this record and the mind of Rnb, The Rapper. Sonically, this cut is a smooth boom bap anthem, and it pays homage to hip hop in many ways. From scratches containing vocals from hip-hop legends to bars referencing Drake and Jay-Z, it’s clear this young MC respects hip-hop culture, and he fleshes this out in the track’s second half. He talks about what hip hop means to him and says, “to me, it’s all art form to others its payroll,” which tells us as listeners everything we need to know.
After this welcoming statement, we get the in-your-face cut “Incredible Hulk,” both hits and misses for me. On the one hand, the energy and charisma from Rnb The Rapper feels prettying commanding and something some of the other tracks on the project can benefit from. Still, on the contrary, the autotune that rides over the track’s well-produced horn-infused instrumental makes everything feel cheap and unfinished.
Another standout on this project was “Costello,” between its pulsing boom bap beat and performance from Rnb, which showcases some of his most intuitive and creative flows and rhyme schemes. While the young MC seems to trip over his flow on occasion, this song is overall one of the most entertaining songs on the project, and it’s a cut that highlights the potential Rnb has as an MC.
The song “Without Rap” commences off beautifully with a joyous soul sample, but once this brief intro concludes, the transition to the core instrumental is quite clunky. Rnb’s technical ability seems to have taken a huge step back despite the story having such an interesting concept regarding what his future life will look if his dreams as a rapper don’t take off.
The following song, “Cinderblock Politics,” keeps this same energy from the previous cut but presents it in a much more palatable manner. This is done through Rnb using his real and raw vocals, allowing us to see his emotions at the forefront. While his delivery needs more work in certain sections of this track, the passion behind this cut makes this overall a very empowering and motivational song, despite if you agree or disagree with him.
“No Breaks” is another track that leaves me scratching my head due to the song’s sonic atmosphere that does not finish Rnb’s musical aesthetic and the track’s ideas which just come off way too juvenile. This song isn’t all bad, as we see Rnb go into some pretty cool flows, including his fast-firing flow, which works very well. The upsides of this song make me wish Rnb The Rapper put his skills to better use. Fortunately, the song “Freestyle” is a massive improvement in comparison, and while the mixing on this cut is off, hearing Rnb’s raw freestyling ability was a treat.
The sonically bright but topically rich “The Rope Swing” is one of the more impressive cuts on the record in all regards. Rnb’s flow rolls so freely here, and his bars are some of his most well-written and topically sound. The song even has a nice bridge with vocal effects that add an otherwordly feel. As this song continues, things only get better as Rnb continues to show his knowledge and beliefs in his dreams. He raps so confidently here, and this song shows a side of him that I hope we hear from more later down the line.
The in-your-face and energetic “FlashPoint” was another exciting cut that showed us another new side of Rnb. In this track, everything he’s going for actually works. He’s witty and charismatic, and his delivery has a level of confidence that is intoxicating to take in. This stretch of highlights continues on the introspective “Only God Is Perfect.” This is hands down the most mature and honest track of Rnb as he asks God to be cleansed for his sins and vows that he will be a better person going forward. The emotion, the pain, and the detailed analysis of Rnb’s consciousness all come together so well and showcases another level of the young mc’s artistry.
Ending things once and for all, “Soul Ties” may be the best-produced track on the record, but Rnb’s pen game seems to take another step back here as it sounds much more direct and basic from a technical standpoint. When looking at this reoccurring issue on tracks, it just seems that different topics channel different energies within this young mc and these simpler tracks put him in a hole that blocks off how good his writing capabilities can truly be.
Walking away from SpitShine, there are loads of moments that showcase the building blocks to the start of something great, but it is clear Rnb the Rapper is not ready for the big leagues yet. On most of these tracks, there is something to love but between the poor mixing, his inconsistent pen game, and vocal presence, which lacks the true flavor to captivate the audience. Still, I think this is a great starting ground on how to craft a remarkable record, and I am so excited to see this promient young artist grow and progress. All in all be sure to check out RnB the Rapper, and to see why he is truly special, check out the listed tracks below!
Only God Is Perfect
The Rope Swing